James Welling was born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California, and is a professor of photography at the University of California, Los Angeles. His photographic work pushes the boundaries of both the technical and conceptual components of photography. He uses a wide variety of tools to produce abstract compositions in the form of photograms, traditional gelatin silver prints, Polaroids, and digitally processed prints.
Welling is represented in many public collections and has exhibited in numerous venues both nationally and internationally, including the retrospective exhibition James Welling Photographs, 1974–1999, which originated at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, and travelled to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Baltimore Museum of Art (2000). A major survey titled James Welling: Monograph opened at the Cincinnati Art Museum in February 2013. The exhibition will travel to the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. Other solo exhibitions include the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford (2012); Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2010); Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2002); Art Gallery of York University, Toronto (2002); Sprengel Museum Hannover (1999). Welling’s work has been featured in group exhibitions such as The Pictures Generation, 1974–1984, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2009); the Whitney Biennial (2008); and documenta IX (1992).
He is represented by David Zwirner, New York; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Galerie Nelson-Freeman, Paris; Maureen Paley, London; and Galeria Marta Cervera, Madrid.